Find #SocialMediaSuccess with the Hashtag

Find #SocialMediaSuccess with the Hashtag

The hashtag is all over social media, starting first with Twitter and now extending to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The young adults who use these social media sites are quickly becoming a greater share of your customer-base as they inherit the family business or start their own careers. Your sales strategies should aim to meet consumers where they are, using communication they understand, which means your social media posts should #EmbraceTheHashtag. That’s why we’re breaking down how the hashtag has evolved over time and how you should use it today!

Hashtag History: The hashtag is represented by the “#” character, which is technically called an octothorpe. The symbol got its start in the 1800s as a symbol for weight measurement. Those who wanted a fast way to indicate weight looked to the Latin phrase “libra pondo,” meaning “pound by weight,” which they abbreviated with a simple “lb.” Find #SocialMediaSuccess with the HashtagEventually, hurried-scribbles of lb simply became #. This is why we now refer to the octothorpe as the “pound sign.” Then, in Britain, the symbol also became known as the “number sign,” because they didn’t want it to be confused with their currency, which also goes by the name “pound.” As a result, we now also use # as a symbol for any number, such as phone digits.

Fast-forward to 2007, when a former Google developer suggested using the octothorpe in front of words and phrases on the new social media platform, Twitter, as a way for people to easily search and find keywords. Since the symbol was being used to tag important keywords, instead of indicating weight or numbers, another techie suggested a new name: “hashtag”. By 2009, Twitter adopted the idea and was hyperlinking all hashtags automatically. Today you can find the hashtag across all of social media.

Hashtag Help: Hashtags not only help keep your business culturally-relevant online, but also provide an easy way for you to be found by social media users. Adding a hashtag to a word or phrase immediately turns it into searchable content, leading those interested in that topic right to your business! For example, if you are having a huge Labor Day sale to end the summer, including hashtags like #LaborDaySale, #EndOfSummer, and #Sale will expand your social media reach to everyone who’s searching using those terms. Here are 6 more tips to help you find #SocialMediaSuccess with the hashtag:

1. Don’t over-do it.

  • GOOD –  #KeepItSimple  #KeepItSweet
  • BAD –  #Keep #It  #Simple #And  #Keep #It #Sweet

2. Use relevant hashtags people will actually search for.

  • GOOD –  @XYZDealer is having a huge #LaborDaySale.  Come celebrate with us at 150 Main St for the best trucks at the best prices!  #TruckSale
  • BAD –  @XYZDealer is having a huge Labor Day sale! Come and celebrate.  #CelebrateXYZ #SaleAt150MainSt #BestTrucksBestPrices

3. Hashtags only use letters and numbers. Using punctuation, spaces, or any other symbol will end the hashtag.

  • GOOD –  #DontUsePunctuation  #DontUseSpaces #DontUseSymbols
  • BAD –  #MyH@shTagWon’tWork  #Bad&Broken-WorstHashtagEver*  #Oh no

4. Twitter won’t recognize a hashtag that is only numbers.

  • GOOD –  Call 555-5555 for details about our #LaborDaySale
  • BAD –  For Labor Day sales details, call #5555555

5. Capital letters can help readers know when a new word begins.

  • GOOD –  #CommercialWebServices  #RVWebServices
  • BAD –  #commercialwebservices  #rvwebservices

6. Research a hashtag to ensure that it is both relevant and appropriate. Is #LaborDay more popular than #LaborDayWeekend, or vice-versa? Is a popular hashtag appropriate, or will it associate my brand with something damaging? Be sure to use the many online tools that can help you research hashtags before posting.

#. Octothorpe. Pound sign. Number sign. Hashtag. The success of this single, weird, special character has proven to be a powerful tool for keyword branding and searching on social media. To reach today’s buyers online, it’s important to begin integrating it into your dealership’s social media posts. #GoodLuck!


Ethan Smith
Ethan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.

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